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Description du projet


Background for the project:

In the European art of the first half of the 20th century, one of the extraordinary phenomena is the surrealist movement, which is manifested in Serbia between 1929-1933. Belgrade Surrealists, several young writers and a painter, published almanac Nemoguće-L'Impossible and journal Surrealism Now and Here, wrote political essays, automatic texts, performed experiments in which they explored artistic actions without control of consciousness, creating collective art works, and also collages, assemblages, drawings, photograms, decalcomania, cadavre exquis.

Links between Serbian and French movements were formed even before publishing of the Breton's Manifesto of Surrealism in 1924, taking into account the fact that members of the Belgrade group adopted ideas of Surrealism initially through the French magazines and then through personal contacts, correspondence, visits to Paris, through exchange of publications, so that their views coincided with the program of French Surrealists to a great extent.

Works of Belgrade Surrealists have been reconstructed, studied and exhibited for the first time in the exhibition Surrealism - Social Art 1929-1950 held at the Museum in 1969. Activity of the Belgrade Surrealists has been contextualized as well at the great world exhibition of Surrealism Der Surrealismus 1922-1942 which was organized by historian of surrealism Patrick Waldberg in 1972 in Munich and Paris.

Within this project almost all members of the Belgrade Surrealist circle have been represented with forty-three art works, properly verified in the European framework, and integrated in the broader context.

Surrealism in MoCAB Collection:

In the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, works of Serbian Surrealists are comprehensively represented and Surrealist publications are stored in the Art Documentation Department (library). Most of the works are donated to the Museum by a writer Marko Ristić (1902-1984), one of the founders and leading figures from Belgrade Surrealist Group, who collaborated in the French surrealist publications as well. He stayed in Paris in 1926/1927 where he met Breton and other European Surrealists.

Members of this movement, represented in the collection of the Museum are: Marko Ristić, Ševa Ristić, Aleksandar Vučo, Lula Vučo, Stevan Živadinović–Vane Bor, Dušan Matić, Oskar Davičo, Đorđe Kostić, Radojica Živanović Noe.

A special part of the collection is the Surrealist Wall originally found in the cabinet of Marko Ristić. It encompasses twenty works of art, including a painting by Max Ernst, and drawings by Andre Masson and Yves Tanguy.

Description of the project:

Because of its complexity and importance for Serbian and European culture, but rather because of poor presentation of Serbian Surrealism, we decided to present Surrealist art through works from collection of Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade as starting point of the project.

The project would consist of the following stages:

  1. Research

Research would be based on works from the MoCAB collection, archival material and documentation from the funds of other institutions and private collections. Also, the research should be expanded on connections of Surrealists artists with Paris, and their work and exchange of ideas with French Surrealist artists.

  1. Digitization

Programming of database suitable for presentation on the Internet. Taking photos of works from collections and scanning of magazines and books. Inserting data and reproductions of the works in the database.

  1. Representation

We would like to use all advantages of Internet as the main meeting point of representation of MoCAB collection, results of the conducted research and communication with public. Presentation would be available in three languages: Serbian, English and French.

In the frame of the MoCAB website we would create entirely new website consisting of the following elements:

a) informative texts about the Surrealists artists and context in which they worked
b) informative texts about the MoCAB collection
c) biographical information about all artists with the chronology
d) glossary of terms
e) reproductions of works from the MoCAB collection with complete data about the works
f) digital reading room of Surrealist Publications as one of the main media of artistic expression of ideas
g) the most important texts of previous researchers and art historians as well as exhibition catalogs
h) all results of new research

  1. Communication

Through various web tools (applications) we would achieve communication and enable participation of other scholars, students as well as other institutions that have the works of Surrealist artists in further research. Throughout this process we will make possible for the general public to follow all the results of the research and through specific interactive applications as communication tools (blogs, personal image databases, puzzle like games, etc.) share the knowledge on this matter with public and allow them to actively engage in the debate on the Serbian Surrealism and its European Context.


The main goal of the project is to use the capacity that collection and library at MoCAB provide to encourage research and ultimately collect and present the cultural heritage related to Surrealism, at one place, with special emphasis on making this research accessible to general public through specially designed web applications and communication tools.